Waiting for Phoebe: In the Remembering

As each year passes, I cannot believe how quickly the days are crossed off the calendar. My life is passing before my eyes. In 2013 my new year’s resolution was to live in the moment. I was so motivated… So on fire! I had a plan. A simple one, to be present in moments with my daughters, with my husband, friends, with family and with the Lord. I would be present. My mind would not be wandering. My to – do list would magically disappear. I would let go of stressful situations. My mind would become this amazing focus machine – living in each moment- just because I had the willpower to make it happen. I am sad to say, it did not happen. Not only did it not happen, it got worse. My doctor was convinced I had ADD the way I described my brain with it’s popcorn thoughts. I had trouble reading, finishing projects, couldn’t sit and have a conversation without my mind racing ahead to the next question I wanted to ask. What is the deal? Looking back, I believe the enemy knew my plan… and he was crouching. He knew this was a weakness in my life. I was bombarded by distractions. Convinved my life was not busy enough, that I was not “doing” enough and so added to my plate. My house could never be clean enough, meal planning didn’t get done, school was disorganized and inconsistant, my house was physically cluttered and my mind even more. I became ungrateful. I became bitter. I became discouraged.

This year, 2014, I am doing things differently. The Lord has shown me ungratefulness leads to unhappiness- unfullfilled hearts- disconent- depression- anxiety – distraction and not living in the moment. So instead of trying to fix it my way… with my own will power. I am asking the Lord to walk with me step by step in an attitude of gratefulness.

O to grace how great a debtor

Daily I’m constrained to be!

Let thy goodness, like a fetter,

Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

Prone to Wander, Lord, I feel it,

Prone to leave the God I love;

Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,

Seal it fo rThey courts above.”

“Bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it.”

This is my prayer. Lord, bind my heart to thee.

Living in gratefulness requires remembering. I have a difficult time with this. I am usually so focused on what needs to get done that second or for the future that I seldom take time to sit and remember. Thanking the Lord for his provision in the past. I often go through spurts of discouragement and times of encouragement. Right now I am discouraged. I have been sulking in my discouragement. I have been breeding ungratefulness- because I am not where I think I should be. Phoebe should be home. Our daugther, in the the Congo, should be home. We should not be coming up to a 3rd Christmas without her. I shouldn’t of had to put away the Halloween costume I bought for her, I should be rejoicing in God’s faithfulness – the fulfillment of our adoption. Instead, we are still a year away from bringing her home. I am in a place that would be easy for anyone to find discouragement. And I have. But living in gratefulness requires remembering. In remembering we find gratefulness. We remember the provision of the Lord. Jehovah Jireh.The Israelites did not remember the huge provision of the Lord when he freed them from slavery. They rejoiced and were singing their praises the day and a few days after he had led them through the Red Sea and when Pharoh’s army was swept up in the waves. But, not even a few days later they began complaining. Complaining of what they did not have. Complaining of the way the Lord provided for them. Complaining and wishing they could go back to slavery.

Did they not remember? The Lord had provided! They remembered, but they remembered the comforts of Egypt- they idolized the comforts over the God who provides.

They became content in their discontent and so they wandered. The Lord is showing me, as I walk through my wilderness, that a heart bred of discontent and ungratefulness leads to an unhappy, wandering, idol worshipping life.

And so… I remember and am grateful…

I remember the moment the Lord chose to speak to me about adopting a child from Africa and am grateful.

I remember the 2 weeks I prayed for my husband to get on board with the idea of adopting and am

grateful.

I remember when my husband’s heart turned and he then became the father of 4 not 3 and am

grateful.

I remember when we needed our first $1500 to have our homestudy done and am

grateful.

I remember when the Lord directed our steps to our first agency and all that we learned and am

grateful.

I remember all the sweet little faces we had to say “no” to because the Lord was directing and am

gratfeul.

I remember the days when I felt unsettled as if the Lord was doing a new thing in our adoption and am

grateful.

I remember when the Lord pursued me and spoke to me saying we were in the wrong “place” and am

grateful.

I remember when we switched agencies and there was a little girl whose name meant star and am

grateful.

I remember when the Lord brought us our first little Congolese girl we accepted as our own and am

grateful.

I remember when we needed $9,500 to say yes to our new Congolese princess and am

grateful.

I remember when we would randomly receive $1,000 check from those that were praying for us and am

grateful.

I remember the moment when my heart broke and was joyful when saying good-bye to our princess and am grateful.

I remember the waiting and praying for our new princess and the early morning e-mail and am

grateful.

I remember the sweet face, big eyes and precious dress of a little girl who is now ours and am

grateful.

I remember the days of waiting and praying for medicals to come through and am

grateful.

I remember the days when my hope was lost and a friend gave a box of scripture just for me and am

grateful.

I remember the moments when I was lost and brought to my knees by confusion and loss and am

grateful.

I remember the sweet prayers of my 3 little girls asking that Phoebe would “know us” and am

grateful.

I remember the Congolese man from IL who has stepped in and given his time to help us and am

grateful.

I remember my caseworker from IL who has given so much to get us where we are and am

grateful.

I remember those who have stood by us through the past 2 1/2 years and have prayed and am

grateful.

I remember my husband who has been my rock when I wanted to give up and am

grateful.

Asking the Lord to indeed renew my persepective through a thankful countenance to be one who remembers and is grateful.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:67

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2 thoughts on “Waiting for Phoebe: In the Remembering

  1. It’s a gift to have a wife who grows so much more beautiful as we age. I know it’s been difficult…and continues to challenge us. Love you, and thankful for your words and heart. 🙂

  2. Crying as I read through this post. Those are some powerful things you have seen God do over the past 2 1/2 years! You are so strong, Sarah (or know exactly where to find your strength!) I’m so proud of you for sharing your thoughts and thankful, too. Thank you for continuing to live a life of obedience. I cannot wait to see the reward!

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